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WoW Mom! An interview with the newest newbie on the block

Amanda Dean

I got a call from my mom on Friday night that she was having an emergency and needed me to call. It turns out the emergency was that she bought World of Warcraft and needed some instruction on how to play. Since I was at work, I told her to get started by reading up a bit on the WoW Rookie until I could spend a little more time with her. I was excited and somewhat terrified. I really hope she likes it and doesn't get too frustrated the first week.

My mom isn't what you would call a gamer. I'm not going to tell you how old she is, but she could tell you where she was when Kennedy was assassinated. She's a master Euchre player and a wiz at Scrabble. Her video gaming experience is limited to Bejeweled and online versions of card games. She used to love me watch play Tetris, but would respond like the controller was made of lava when I tried to hand it to her. I invited her to join Dungeons and Dragons sessions, but she always declined.

I moved 2,000 miles from my native Michigan for graduate school about five years ago. Since then my interactions with my mom have been limited to phone conversations and the occasional short visit. I'm really glad to get to share this time with her.

I've often suggested that my mom give WoW a try. In the following interview I found out why she finally decided to play the game. I also wanted to find out more her perspective as a brand new video game player.

What made you decide to join the 10 million other WoW players?
My reasons for joining the wow community are many and varied. I am a life long sci-fi and fantasy fan and playing in a world where some of those things come in to play has a lot of appeal. Also being relatively newly divorced, I find myself with time to do things just because I enjoy them. Also my roommate has been an RPG player for a long time, it looked like fun. I chose WOW specifically because my daughter speaks that language and I wanted to be able to understand and relate to what she was talking about. The final push came from listening to a WOW Insider podcast. These people were having too much fun to resist.

What was your expectation of the game?
My expectation of the game is an escape from the day-to-day realities of life. It does that remarkably well, drawing me into a whole other world that has very little to do with my real life and responsibilities.

What races and classes did you consider?
My first thought was Paladin or Druid because in most of my many books they are the most powerful and noble people. I also gave some thought to Mage for the same reasons.

What did you pick and why?
I finally settled on an Undead Warlock mostly because of the reading I did on WOW insider Rookie posts and some encouragement from my daughter. After I met the Imp it was all over. I love that little guy!

Did WoW meet your expectations?
So far it has been a lot of fun but also exhausting. In my personal world that's a good thing.

What's been the hardest part of playing wow?
The hardest part of WOW for me is controlling movements with the mouse and watching all around at the same time. I have a neuromuscular disorder so my fine motor control is not what it should be. Hopefully all of that will come with time and practice.

What's been the best?
The best part are the hours I get to spend online with my daughter, totally forgetting about the outside world and wandering around killing things. There is also a great sense of accomplishment in finishing a task and receiving the rewards.

At this point, what are your goals in the game?
My goals in the game are to continually improve and someday be able to hold my own anywhere against anyone.

Do you feel like the printed materials are adequate for getting started in the game?
Absolutely, I read most of the books that came with the game learning much about the lay of the land and a little about what I have to do to be successful. There is so much information out there. I think they do a good job. Especially telling me that everybody started somewhere and probably made at least some of the same mistakes.

To benefit all rookies all over, we write a "WoW Rookie" column, what are some things that you would like to know more about?
Everything I have read is encouraging and always reminding me to have fun with it. Rookies like me need to know that its okay and it will come. I think WOW Insider does a wonderful job of that.

It has been fun and frustrating. You may notice a dearth of posts from me over the last couple of days. That's because I've been taking some time to show her around. The hardest part so far has been teaching her how to move. I'm amazed at what I've taken for granted in the game. Apparently I had just as much trouble when I was new. I had her roll with me on my PvP server so that once she gets into the contested areas I can guard her with one of my 70s.

In seven hours, we almost made it to level eight. It's hard sometimes to remember that it's a game, not a race. I'm used to tearing through the levels and know where all the quests are. I have to give her some time and space to learn on her own and make a few mistakes. I want to help her and teach her, but not too much. She'll come out all the stronger for it in the end.

There is so much to tell her about the game, that sometimes I run out of words and I know she's overwhelmed at some points. For the life of me I don't seem to be able to explain an aggro radius. She also has some trouble turning to face a monster that's attacking her. I sincerely hope and believe that playing video games will help to reverse some of the fine-motor skill damage that has been done by her Multiple Schlerosis. One of these days I know I'll be staring up at her at the end of a duel.

Mom will be reading this. So, dear readers, do you have any advice for Azeroth's newest n00b?

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